Now let's not get too carried away with our ongoing discussions just yet. We have been burned so many times that we have no idea what kind of season we are going to have. As noted by gbruin:
Personally, I think it's hypocritical BS that the MSM is writing these hype articles. These clowns were all over Johnny Football and no one else 2 weeks ago and are just hopping a bandwagon to sell some notes. Hundley has been who we thought he was so far, but none of those tools gave us the time of day preseason. As for me, it's too early to say. He still has some holes, like how he really needs to work on connecting the deep ball. I'm going to wait until we play a real defense like Stanford before making long term judgments on Hundley's pro prospects this year.
B wasn't alone in his line of thinking re. Hundley not being ready yet. Tasser agreed with him and also gb's take that it's too early to tell, chiming in with this:
I don't think he's a top 5 pick yet, and it would be a risky move to pick a QB like him in the top 5 at this point. He is really good but he's not quite at the Andrew Luck level yet. While he could be in the top 3 of QBs in the draft, that doesn't mean he's a top 5 pick. Two, and this is more subjective, I feel like he has a sense of responsibility, to himself, family and teammates and I think he'll want to complete his journey and his business (if we don't go to a BCS bowl this year).
While the Nebraska win was great, I think we were the better team all around and that they were overrated. The key takeaway of that victory IMO was the mental aspect of overcoming emotions, a big deficit and a massively partisan crowd. Those are big time achievements. There are many tests remaining and they will be key in the Hundley and team evaluation including game against ASU, Stanford, Oregon and Washington.
Plus of course there is that game against Southern Cal. That's not going to be easy (remember we are taking on a genius coach after all - ok different topic, I will stop). But more importantly there is the Thursday night matchup against Utah.
So this is going to be a fascinating story to watch no doubt. I will be sad but not be upset if UCLA finishes the season with 10+ wins, a victory in New Year's Day bowl game and Hundley explodes into the NFL draft just like RW.
What I will be disheartened by is if we experience a repeat of Tommy Maddox circa 1991-92. Back then another red-shirt sophomore followed a promising red-shirt freshman season (although Hundley's first year was way more magical than Maddox's first year) with a good but not great sophomore year (an 8-4 season which included a win against Southern Cal and a boring Donahue (6-3) win vs. Illinois).
If Maddox had returned for his junior season, UCLA probably would have been a top-10 team and a pre-season favorite to go and perhaps win the Rose Bowl. Instead Maddox pulled the NFL trigger and ended up having a mediocre career starting with the Broncos and then wandering around with the Giants and Steelers. I really hope we don't have to experience that all over again.
Anyway folks, this is still way too early I suppose but still want to chat about. Given the powerful story now we have seen re. Brett and Paris, I will close this series of posts out with the following observation from uclaluv is also poignant:
I think what is happening with him is bigger than football and when he goes pro all of that will go with him. He really cares about his education and wants to make a difference in the world. So I think he'll stay another year. He's now the president of the NCAA Players Association and it seems that he wants to use all of his assets to help. Just my sense from talking with him. He gets excited about football but gets even more passionate about justice. He has a deep sense of empathy. So I think he stays to keep learning in the classroom and about how to be a leader.
While my heart hopes that is the case at the end I will root for Hundley to make the decision that is best for him and his amazing family.